One of my personal favorite designers really pulled a great collection and may I add one of my favorites as she added a touch to her ramp walk! Paying tribute to the glorious craftsmanship of India, Anita Dongre ended Day Two at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2015, with the launch of her outstanding “Grassroot” collection. A luxurious tree stood on stage to signify the brand “Grassroot”. Beautiful Bollywood star Dia Mirza’s touching introduction of the theme at the beginning of the show, made the anticipation unbearable.
Anita’s dream to revive the precious crafts of the country like Ahir embroidery from Gujarat, ikat from Karnataka and Hyderabad, Gotta Patti from Rajasthan, weaves of Banaras, intricate Warli and hand block prints turned into a reality with “Grassroot”. The brand’s philosophy of “Revive, Sustain, Empower” was amply evident as the intricate garments appeared on the ramp. The fabrics were gorgeous silks from Bhagalpur with smooth textures.
The varying styles moved from western to fusion in easy silhouettes with lavish crafts as the focal point of each entry. Featuring the beautiful weaves of Banaras, ikat, khadi and hand spun silk, Anita added the beauty of block printing, Warli and embroidery to highlight the apparel. The opening of the show was a dramatic entry of five white cropped tops with varying sleeves, teamed with black Samurai pants.
Soon the black/white section featured asymmetric striped/solid tunics, shirt waister dresses, cascading poncho tops, capris, slit sleeve capes, front buttoned tubes and cross-over multi-print flared dresses. The earthy tones of the brown collection brought in cool summer frocks, batwing ponchos, and striped shifts. Onto the indigo/green combo, the dresses, loose tunics and kurtas were comfy and practical. The rust shade was seen for pleated skirts and bolero, drop shoulder lean maxi and sharply cut suits.
The final mirror work line moved from smocks and jackets to gowns, floor length front open maxi, printed peplum blouses and sparkling kurtas matched with orange cropped jackets on indigo, orange and black long lean dresses. Anita’s premiere collection of eco-conscious bags were functional and displayed the craft of miniature paintings of The Flora Fauna, The Mughal Garden and the Desert Craft Series, which are part of the ancient tradition of Jaipur. The Kashmir Motif series had Persian, Mughal and Indian influences with Aari work; while the Canvas of Thread Line paid homage to the craft. The natural line of jewellery included the Rabari Collection of semi-precious stones on silver. The Copper Craft Collection in wood, jute and copper and the Bargello Line, was a mix of jute and silver hues.
When it came to the finale Anita created a sensation when she invited 26 master craftswomen from Gujarat to walk the ramp. The talented ladies were truly the stars of Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2015 and definitely deserved the wildly appreciative standing ovation from the audience.
When fashion meets craft revival, then the result is the fabulous “Grassroot” brand by Anita Dongre who has worked for decades to bring traditional heritage fashion to centre stage.